Démocratie, responsabilité et honneur

Il ne se passe pas une journée sans que nous entendions parler dans le monde entier d'un ministre qui se démette de ses fonctions. Dans un sens, ceci n'est guère surprenant. Après tout, les vingt-cinq états membres de l'Union européenne emploient à eux seuls des centaines de ministres, et bien plus si l'on compte les sous-ministres. Mais pourquoi les ministres se démettent-ils de leurs fonctions ? Et, plus intéressant encore, pourquoi certains ne se démettent-ils pas de leurs fonctions alors que semblent exister des raisons convaincantes pour qu'ils le fassent ?

En l'absence de données empiriques, les généralisations doivent être de simples suppositions. Les ministres se démettent fréquemment de leurs fonctions car ils se retrouvent impliqués dans des scandales, souvent liés, récemment, au financement de partis politiques. En Italie, les ministres doivent faire face à plusieurs fantômes de ces délits passés.

Parfois, les ministres se démettent de leurs fonctions en invoquant des " raisons personnelles ". Ces raisons peuvent masquer des facteurs plus contraignants, comme le suggère la récente démission du directeur américain de la CIA, George Tenet. Mais Tony Blair a perdu l'un de ses meilleurs et plus fidèles amis au sein de son Cabinet, Alan Milburn, qui souhaitait sincèrement consacrer davantage de temps à sa famille.

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